HP: Best and Worst Laptop Brands of 2014

hp-brand-sf-v4

HP finished in a solid fourth place in our report — the same position it earned in 2013. The brand fared well in the innovation category (thanks to welcome experimentation with motion control, touchpad design and hybrids), and we also continue to like HP’s design, keyboard comfort, and overall value and selection. Tech support could be better — especially on the phone — but overall, this is a brand you can trust.

Reviews (15/20)

HP turned in a slightly better performance than it did last year, with five of its notebooks earning a 4-star rating, five getting a 3.5-star rating and three receiving a 3-star rating. The high-end Spectre 13t — which has an innovative touchpad — and the bang-for-your-buck Pavilion G6z were two systems that received Editors’ Choice awards.

MORE: 5 Best HP Laptops

Tech Support (15/20)

HP has a well-designed website that makes it easy to find answers to common questions, and the company has been improving its social media tech support, though it still doesn’t offer live chat. However, these improvements barely managed to offset HP’s disastrous phone-support score. We were transferred between multiple representatives each time, who all had difficulty with our fairly basic questions. One rep tried to sell us an unnecessary HP support package.

MORE: HP: Tech Support Showdown Rating

Design (12/15)


hp-design-sf-3

HP deserves praise for creating the best-looking Chromebooks of the year. The Pavilion 14 Chromebook used glittery plastic to lend the notebook an air of sophistication at a low price, and the Chromebook 11 added a pop of color to a gleaming white chassis. The HP Spectre 13t impressed with its stylish, truffle-brown exterior and Control Zone touchpad. However, a couple of less-imaginative MacBook clones, such as the Envy TouchSmart 15, relegated HP to fourth place. The company also needs to find a way to trim the fat; the Elitebook 2750p lives on the bulkier end of the spectrum.

Keyboards & Touchpads (13/15)

hp-keyboard-sf-3

Hewlett Packard offers consistently comfy, flex-free keyboards on both its business and consumer laptops. The company’s touchpads provided accurate, jitter-free navigation on all of the systems we tested. HP’s Elitebook line of business laptops even offer dedicated mouse buttons, which provide the best clicking experience. However, the Elitebook pointing sticks are uncomfortable because of their concave surfaces.

Display & Audio (8/10)

From consumer Ultrabooks like the HP Spectre 13 to the business-focused ZBook 15, HP has upped its audio-visual game. As a result, the company boosted its score by two points to tie for first in this category. While most of HP’s panels delivered rich color and wide viewing angles, the average brightness of 219 lux recorded on the systems we tested is well below the 242-lux laptop category average. 

Sound consistently impressed across the board. Even budget models, such as the sub-$500 Pavilion G6z-2200, have front-mounted speakers capable of blaring full-bodied tunes. On average, the HP notebooks we reviewed in 2013 pumped out sound at 84 decibels, which is just slightly below the laptop category average (85 dB). HP also includes Beats Audio on several of its laptops, which enriches bass and overall sound.

Innovation (8/10)

After a lackluster showing in last year’s Innovation category, HP jumped all the way to the No. 2 spot. The boost came as a result of groundbreaking notebooks like the Envy 17, which includes a built-in 3D controller, courtesy of Leap Motion. The company also rolled out its slick Spectre 13 Ultrabook, which features a unique Control Zone touchpad that makes Windows 8 gestures more intuitive.

MORE: Top 10 Ultrabooks

Value & Selection (4/5)

There is a wide selection of HP laptops on the company’s website, and a large range of retailers also sell HP systems. Thanks to a wide variety of price points — from the $479 Pavilion 14z TouchSmart to the $954 Elitebook 850 G1 business notebook — HP earned a second-place spot in this category. The company also offers a Windows 7 option on most of its notebooks, so you can get an up-to-date device with the comfort of a familiar operating system. A colorful line of Chromebooks expands the budget end of HP’s already-wide range of products.

Software (3/5)

hp-screen-v1

HP’s software suite isn’t quite as impressive as it was last year. Recent HP flagships, like the Envy TouchSmart 15, pack HP Connected Photo and Connected Music, which allow you to easily organize your multimedia content. The HP Savings Center is an online coupon book, and there’s an unnecessary HP Games hub for sampling already-free games like “Plants vs. Zombies.” HP’s SimplePass software offers extra security with a fingerprint reader, and you can register all 10 of your fingers for logging in to Windows and websites.

Best and Worst Laptop Brands 2014

LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. nagarajan Says:

    i purchased hp new laptop in show room with original bill but hp company very worst company they are not providing original software. Very worst cheating company like road side shop. i have original bills but they are not provide at least antivirus production software. My contact no.8807622804. i was cheated i will prove you if you give chance.

  2. NATHANIEL KWESI APPIAH ESHUN Says:

    LAPTOP PRICES AND SHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS TO GHANA, WEST AFRICA.

  3. Senthil Says:

    I purchased new HP Laptop this year and it is worth for the amount.. they had lot of varieties and i picked based on my requirement.. i did’t go for fast ram and still the performance is very fast.. overall i am satisfied with the product

  4. Ashvini Sharma Says:

    I purchasd my laptop hp pavillion by an authorised dealer next day i found the keys are popup dealer and service center not change it just hving one day 2 buy hp dealers also cheats thet provide defected piece

  5. sarvesh Says:

    very bad service and laptop

  6. neha Says:

    i don’t think hp is really good . i face prop 3 times in hp g6 lap top worth 40 k with in 1.5 yr n now cc executives are also ignoring me . i face twice display issue hard disk which is already pirated from very first end and now physical body issue mine lap top has been opened because of prob every time i gives me a heart break because i love my gadgets a lot .i feel like hating hp.:((((((((((

  7. Maximiliano Says:

    I’m in the laptop repair business and I NEVER EVER recommend HP laptops to my customers. Failures everywhere, GPU problems rendering the computer unusable, bad thermal disipation, batteries die after 2 years or so, and the charging and dc oulet chips are very delicate. It seems that computer manufacturers don’t want us to use their laptops for more than a year and a half… And I am not talking about the cheaper laptops, high end ones experience the same kind of nasty issues. Don’t buy HP. Don’t Buy Compaq.

    Maximiliano.

  8. saxon901 Says:

    Bypass the bureaucrats and go straight to the recommended service centre in your area. They are as frustrated with these in-house wallies as the rest of us. I have nothing but praise for the Perth WA serviceman, he fought them on my behalf when they insisted I needed a replacement transformer when the problem was a hardware failure. As my DV6 was still under warranty I got free courier door to door pick-up and return. On that basis I would mark them higher. In-house will respond promptly to requests for approved local service centres. Regards

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE